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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 03-05-2005, 01:43 AM   #1
romne
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Buying - 1998 e36 M3 or 2001 E46 330i?

Hey guys...I am looking to buy another BMW. I recently purchased a 2001 330i with sport package and absolutely love the car. However I did notice the E36 M3 has slightly better hp and torque ratings. ( I believe 20 or so more on each?) What do you guys think? I have never driven the E36 M3...is there a real noticeable difference between these 2 cars performance and handling wise?
Keep in mind I have steptronic on the 330i and would likely do the same on the M3 (going for 4 door 1998 model). What can I say Atlanta traffic sucks too much for me to bother with a stick! I am considering handing over the 330i to the wife if the E36 M3 is noticeably superior....opinions?

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Old 03-05-2005, 01:58 AM   #2
romne
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Oh by the way here are some pics of the car....took these quickly today so not the best but you get the idea.
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Old 03-05-2005, 06:54 AM   #3
dh2o72
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I say keep the 330i, taking it that its got warranty.
Keep in mind, the m3 does handle better and has more power but its a 7 year old car.
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Old 03-05-2005, 07:12 AM   #4
Smoltz
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This has been covered at least 10000000000000 times, search the archives.

Adam
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Old 03-05-2005, 09:05 AM   #5
Wagon Man
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Originally Posted by romne
Keep in mind I have steptronic on the 330i and would likely do the same on the M3 (going for 4 door 1998 model). What can I say Atlanta traffic sucks too much for me to bother with a stick!
M3/4 slush-box can be had for cheap! and many available to choose from .. small fee to get M3 membership
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Old 03-05-2005, 01:14 PM   #6
Kill_Bill_Vol.2
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Originally Posted by romne
Hey guys...I am looking to buy another BMW. I recently purchased a 2001 330i with sport package and absolutely love the car. However I did notice the E36 M3 has slightly better hp and torque ratings. ( I believe 20 or so more on each?) What do you guys think? I have never driven the E36 M3...is there a real noticeable difference between these 2 cars performance and handling wise?
Keep in mind I have steptronic on the 330i and would likely do the same on the M3 (going for 4 door 1998 model). What can I say Atlanta traffic sucks too much for me to bother with a stick! I am considering handing over the 330i to the wife if the E36 M3 is noticeably superior....opinions?
stick with E46, the E36 M3 is nice but if you have a choice, i'd go E46 without a doubt b/c the E36 is starting to look dated

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Old 03-05-2005, 01:42 PM   #7
Wagon Man
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Originally Posted by bmw2520
stick with E46, the E36 M3 is nice but if you have a choice, i'd go E46 without a doubt b/c the E36 is starting to look dated

Surely different opinion for all of us, I still like E36 M3, I regard them "classic" rather than dated ..
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Old 03-05-2005, 01:49 PM   #8
akhbhaat
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Dated or not (something which obviously shouldn't be of any concern to any self-respecting "enthusiast" - if it is, feel free to continue enjoying your colored roundels and ricey body kits), the E36 is a much more nimble and intuitive driver's car. Power is comparable, but power is very far from everything.

Again, though, I stick to my E46 for the simple reason that it's more comfortable and more practical on a day-to-day basis; which is to say, it's newer, has lower mileage, and is much cheaper to maintain (let alone more reliable) because of this. If you're looking for a daily driver car, this is a pretty important concern.
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Old 03-05-2005, 02:02 PM   #9
Kill_Bill_Vol.2
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Originally Posted by akhbhaat
Dated or not (something which obviously shouldn't be of any concern to any self-respecting "enthusiast" - if it is, feel free to continue enjoying your colored roundels and ricey body kits), the E36 is a much more nimble and intuitive driver's car. Power is comparable, but power is very far from everything.

Again, though, I stick to my E46 for the simple reason that it's more comfortable and more practical on a day-to-day basis; which is to say, it's newer, has lower mileage, and is much cheaper to maintain (let alone more reliable) because of this. If you're looking for a daily driver car, this is a pretty important concern.
I would say that I am an "enthusiast" but again, your opinion on that word is probably different than mine...i'm pretty young so when the e36 was the current bodystyle, i wasn't old enough to drive...i think that being dated or not is a hell of a big concern, i enjoy the styling of the newer e46 so much more than the "dated" and square look of the e36 and that goes into my overall feel of the car. I have driven many e36 M3's and they are a great car to drive and I'm not saying that they are bad looking at all but they definetly don't compare to the looks of the e46. Maybe the e46 to me is like the e36 to you, I know that when the e90 M3 or M4 comes out, I am still going to love the e46 M3. I never appreciated the e36 M3 when it was out so I can't fully appreciate it now.
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Old 03-05-2005, 02:08 PM   #10
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E36 M3? are we talking about sixties?
get an E46 .. this is my opinion...

E90 coming v. soon!
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Old 03-05-2005, 06:07 PM   #11
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i still turn my head and admire e36 m3's. i'd get the coupe though
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Old 03-05-2005, 06:24 PM   #12
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I love the E36 M3, and sedans are nice an rare.

That being said I would keep your 330 if you are not going to be a Stick M3.

ITs a more comfortable car, and I dont know if you will ever realize the performance of the M3 with an auto since you seem to be using it as a daily driver.
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